Seychelles Indian Diaspora Day 2018


Prominent business persons of Indian origin honoured


Five prominent business persons of Indian origin who have contributed significantly to the economic development of Seychelles and its community have been honoured. This was during the Seychelles Indian Diaspora Day event held at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Beach Resort & Casino on Wednesday evening.

The event, which is also known as the Non-resident Indian Day, coincided with the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas which commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi to India from South Africa on January 9, 1915 and also the contribution of the Indian diaspora in the development of India and of the whole world.

According to a book released by the Indian Association of Seychelles (IAS), which together with the Indian high commission in Seychelles organised the event, the size of the Indian diaspora is believed to have reached about 30 million – the largest in the world – with the majority living in the United States and the United Arab Emirates. It added there are currently about 10,000 Indians living in Seychelles, a figure which is considered significant among a local population of 93,000.

Gracing the evening with their presence were Vice-President Vincent Meriton; the Minister for Finance, Trade and Economic Planning Peter Larose; chairperson of the IAS Ramu Pillay; Indian high commissioner to Seychelles Ausaf Sayeed; other government ministers namely Jeanne Simeon for Family Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam for Health; members of IAS; family members and friends of India.

Guest speaker for the occasion was Indian government Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who was in Seychelles for the 24th Conference of Speakers & Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC) held earlier this week at the Savoy Resort & Spa, Beau Vallon. Mrs Mahajan also received a token of appreciation from the organisers.

The ceremony began with the traditional lighting of the lamp by prominent Indian ladies.

Addressing the audience, Ramu Pillay said it is estimated over 30% of the Seychelles population has Indian blood. And that for the last couple of years, the IAS and the Indian HC through a committee, have been organising an event to celebrate the occasion. And also to decide who is the meritorious recipient of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas award in a transparent manner.

HC Ausaf Sayeed said India is the only country in the world organising a specific dedicated event in honour of overseas Indians, called the diaspora, over the last fourteen years to make the expatriates feel welcome back at home.

“In the context of Seychelles, this day recognises the significant contributions Seychellois of Indian origin have been making to the socio-economic development, cultural engagement and historic people to people engagement for a long, long time,” he said, remarking Indians have been recognised as among the first settlers in Seychelles dating back to 1770.

Minister Larose congratulated members of the IAS committee and the Indian HC for organising such a momentous event adding during the last year they have made remarkable achievements to bring the community together and expressed his assurance on greater developments to come. The minister also remarked on the close bond between India and Seychelles.

“Through our partnership over the years, we have built a relationship which keeps growing from strength to strength. As we start a new calendar year I am hoping that we can continue to rely on our Indian community to help us transform our economy and social landscape. Development in this day and age is about partnership. We look forward to solidifying our relationship in the best interest of Seychelles and India,” said the minister.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan made flowery and appreciative comments on Seychelles’ natural beauty like “beautiful mountains full of trees” which she said must be preserved.

She commended the Seychelles for having nurtured both our nature and the qualities in man, in our nation.

“Seychelles and India we are close friends. We have so many things we are doing together. Now we are talking about the Blue economy where all of us are working together because the sea has not separated us but has brought us together,” she said.

She explained the reason behind the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and as there are so many Indians in so many countries, she said ‘Mother India’ must remember them. She said India has never wanted to conquer any country but it has served and contributed to the countries’ prosperity and development.

“You are India’s permanent ambassadors,” she told the audience, saying if an Indian does good in a country, it will mean India is good and that Indians are there for the progress of Seychelles.

She urged both Indians and Seychellois to come together, work together because, according to her, this is the principles Indians abide by.

“Together let us think. Together let us work. Together let us prosper. And that is our Indian philosophy and we believe you are on the same line. Together, Seychelles and India, we will make progress, we will work together,” she urged.






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